Updated: Jul 25, 2020
Martin and I have been saying for a while now, how much we want to make our own bread from scratch. It looks so alluring, the process and the folding of the squishy dough, the smell when it comes out hot from the oven. We just never got to do it until this past week and what a game-changer. We'll stick with making our own bread from here on out! So how did we come to start this whole process? My sister Sarah, just so happened to have a mutual friend of ours who could get her hands on a starter that had been aged for about ten years. She dropped it off for us one day in a glass mason jar and we took in a good whiff of it and it smelled like a strong beer and fresh bread combined. She then told us that as soon as we get the starter, we had to let it rest and feed it for a day before we started to make the dough. I thought to myself, this is like having a baby or pet! Feed it and let it rest? So much to learn and we were up for the challenge!
Sourdough Bread Ingredients: We don't have a scale so we converted the grams conversion into cups, but if you have a scale use that it's easier.
1/3 cup starter or 100 grams
1.06 cups water or 250 grams
1 5/8 cups of flour or 394 grams
1.5 tbsp salt or 8 grams
Take a large mixing bowl and add your starter, water, flour, and salt. Mix well and scrape the sides to mix in all the flour. It will be a sticky consistency. Cover with a breathable kitchen towel and let sit at room temperature on the counter for 4 hours. Once 2 hours pass, wet your hands and fold your dough a few times and cover and do that again after the remaining 2 hours. Form into a ball or dumpling-like form, sprinkle the top of the dough with flour, and place your dough into a large bowl that is sprinkled in flour. Preferably, you'd want to use a "banneton" bowl which has circular grooves within it and helps to hold the flour. We didn't have one and just used a regular mixing bowl, but I can see how a banneton would be much more beneficial.
After the 4 hours have passed, it's time to put your dough in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Cover your dough and bowl with a plastic bag to "retard" it or slow down the fermentation process. After 12 hours have passed, take your dough out of the refrigerator and let it rest on the counter at room temperature for 5 hours. Once the 5 hours have passed, it's almost time to bake the bread!
Next, you want to do the "poke" test. Take your thumb and poke the dough and the desired result is a slight and slow bounce back. This measures gluten consistency and balance. Sprinkle the top with a little flour. After passing the "poke" test it's time to preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Take your dough and place it on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
The final step is to "score" the dough meaning give it an ear which helps it expand evenly. You will need a very sharp knife or razor. We had a bit of a fail here, as our dough was very sticky, but using the kitchen scissors helped. After scoring the bread, place it in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes or so. This is very important, don't cut into hot bread although quite tempting. If you cut into hot bread, the heat escapes, and the crust will be soggy and not crispy. No bueno. Serve with our favorite, roasted garlic and olive oil or butter!
"Bon Nest Appetit"
For non-sticking chaos a Benneton in key and this one is great!